OAL 2014: (Pine)apples & Oranges!

Hey folks, I hope that you’ve all been having a great week! I’ve been busy trying to meet a few work-related deadlines and participating in the Outfit-Along that’s been co-hosted by Lauren of Lladybird and Andi of Untangling Knots. It’s been a blast participating and checking out everyone’s fancy new makes! I finished up my dress and cardigan this past week… and boy, just in the nick of time! Here are the finished pieces:

OAL 2014: Pineapple Staple Dress & Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan

I went with the “official” chosen cardigan (Andi Satterlund’s new Myrna pattern), but went a bit rogue on the dress. I liked the chosen pattern, but after those knit cardigan sleeves took me AAAAAAGES to get through (I think I frogged them five or six times before I got the hang of that whole “wrap & turn” thing), I opted for something a bit simpler: The Staple Dress pattern by April Rhodes.

Pineapple Print Staple Dress

This pattern has been in my sewing queue for awhile now, but I’ve put off sewing it since it’s not my typical style. I generally opt for fuller skirts and the (very occasional) super fitted variety, not the looser, flowy in-between style. But… this has been the year of trying out new styles and after loving my Vera Aveline dress (another looser style) and getting tons of wear out of my linen Eucalypt dress (a similar style to this one) during the early summer’s crazy humidity, I decided to give this one a shot.

Pineapple Print Staple Dress

The pineapple print fabric is from Girl Charlee, purchased right before signing up for Sally’s Summer Stashbust. It looks like they don’t currently have anymore of the woven pineapple print fabric in stock, but they do still have some pineapple print jersey knit if you’re still craving a tropical print!

Pineapple Print Staple Dress

I chose the high-low hem version and graded from a small in the shoulders/bust/waist to a medium at the hips. For reference, my bust measurement fell right in between the small/medium body measurements listed (small is 35″ and medium is 37″), but since the dress has a lot of ease built into the measurements, sizing down worked out just fine. I don’t always like doing belts over elasticized waists, so I opted not to do the elasticized waist version this time and am just belting it instead.

The pattern is simple, straight-forward and well-written (with lots of photos and descriptions if you’re a sewing newbie). Definitely recommended!

Now on to the cardigan!

Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan - Close Up

The yarn that I used for my Myrna was Miss Babs “Yowza” (light worsted). This particular yarn was promised as being a one skein type deal for the first few sizes in the pattern. Not having to tie in a bajillion ends at the end of the project sounded really appealing, so I ordered a skein of Yowza in the Squash Blossom colorway. It’s a nice, bright yellow-orange color with some subtle variation. I swatched up a small amount of yardage and used size US 8/ 5mm knitting needles to get the proper gauge.

Myrna Cardigan - Miss Babs Yowza Yarn

Once I finished the sweater body, my Yowza yarn cake was getting really tiny and I started to panic that I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish the sleeves… so I ordered another skein. It ended up being unnecessary though. I knitted up a size small and still had a teeny bit of yarn leftover at the end.

Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan - Close Up

This is definitely the biggest knitting project that I have ever tackled. I’ve sewn heaps of scarves, oodles of armwarmers, a large stuffed hedgehog, a mermaid, a squid (yep, apparently I tend to knit lots of odd freeform things…), and dozens of other small miscellaneous knitted and crocheted items, but never anything quite this large-scale and complicated.

OAL 2014: Pineapple Staple Dress & Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan

Sometimes this project was frustrating (especially when I had to keep ripping out the sleeves). Sometimes it made me grumpy (all that 1×1 ribbing! Eeeesh! Such a pain in the butt to do… looks so pretty though!). I’m not used to following a pattern when it comes to knitting, but this one was well-written so I stuck with it, learned a lot of cool knitting techniques in the process, and actually ended up having a lot of fun. Once I finished up the bodice portion of this sweater, I actually got started right away on a second one!

OAL 2014: Pineapple Staple Dress & Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan

One of the coolest new techniques that I learned was how to make a stabilized, hand-sewn, button band like you see in the above photo. It uses Petersham ribbon as a stabilizing base. Lauren has an awesome tutorial for how to do this over on her blog.

Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan - Close Up

Don’t be put off by all of the hand-stitching. It’s actually kind of relaxing and having a super duper reinforced button band is totally worth it. It’s so much sturdier and just makes the sweater feel so fancy!

OAL 2014: Pineapple Staple Dress & Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan

Here’s another photo (above) for reference so you can see the side portion of the sweater and the shaping/decreases running from underneath the armpit to the ribbing at the waist.

The photo below shows the little modification that I made to my sweater back.

Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan - Close Up (My Bow Detail Variation)

I just added a simple little bow that I knit up in the same yarn, blocked it out, and crocheted the edges onto the back of the sweater to attach it.

Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan - Close Up (My Bow Detail Variation)

It makes the sweater feel a little more “me” – I love adding fun little details to projects.

OAL 2014: Pineapple Staple Dress & Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan

Plus, bows are always kind of fun, right?

OAL 2014: Pineapple Staple Dress & Citrus Grove Myrna Cardigan

Thanks so much for stopping by and hanging in there during this photo heavy post!

Overall, I had a blast participating and am hoping that this becomes a yearly thing! Thanks Lauren and Andi for making this possible!

Did you participate in the Outfit-Along this summer? What have you always been intimidated by (sewing/knitting/craft-wise) and what do you really want to tackle next?




Posted in DIY, Fashion, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Vera Aveline (aka The Summer Bombshell Dress)

This Dress. You must make it now. Right this minute.


This dress will make you feel like you have superpowers.

It will make you feel effortlessly chic.

It will make you feel like a total Bombshell.


And it is so simple to make… even with all of the fancy details.

I promise, you can do it!


When Maddie first emailed me about her new tutorial, I wasn’t sure if the style would suit me, but she persuaded me, saying that it was a very versatile style that anyone could rock in a myriad of different ways.

Her beautiful floral version looked absolutely amazing on her in the preview pictures, but I just wasn’t sure that I could pull it off.

Here is where the sheer fabric from Mood that had been sitting on my sewing table from the New York meet-up a few weeks ago comes in (from back when Lauren was in town and when I also had the chance to meet Maddie in person – she is such a sweetheart!). Anyway, I looked over at it and could immediately picture it as this dress, so it seemed like fate!

sweetlittlechickadee_veraaveline_14It’s a simple and straightforward tutorial, but I did make things a bit more difficult for myself by 1.) working with chiffon (and doing french seams), 2.) lining the chiffon with silk crepe de chine (and doing french seams), and 3.) fiddling with finicky faux leather scraps and delicate lace for the halter/t-back, but there aren’t that many pieces to put together and all things considered this was still a pretty quick make.

The most difficult thing was hemming all that fabric!


I think that for a completely different look this dress would be stunning sewed up using a vintage sheet or (for a sweet fabric treat) a few yards of some pretty Liberty voile.


 (Liberty of London)

I’ll leave you with my best “too cool for school” pose…


Or it was probably more like my best “Hey-I’m-chilly-and-it’s-getting-kinda-windy-out-here” pose.

But it also shows another way that you can style this dress (and how I’ve been wearing it so far in this chilly spring weather!).

sweetlittlechickadee_veraaveline_3.1And some outtakes from the wind, which may have gotten the better of me, haha…

and which went from funny to “ermagerd” in about two seconds.

Real life people, real life.


Aaaaaaah, I still can’t believe that I made this!

It’s really comfy too! Did I already say that? In my opinion, that’s the most important determining factor in the perfect summer dress.

I definitely recommend checking out the tutorial right here. And it’s freeee! Thanks Maddie!

Are you going to sew up a Vera Aveline? What summer dress tutorials and/or patterns are you loving right now?

Posted in DIY, Fashion, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments